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Just looking for some info on Horses

May 1st, 2006, 09:48 AM
Hi, I do realize that this forum is more geared to dogs and cats and other house pets, however I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with horses?
We have been busy renovating the barn and clearing the field, we want to get a horse.
I was just curious if anyone has horses and would have any tips or suggestions for first time owners?
Have already consulted the vet (specializes in livestock ect) I have the basic break down of vaccinations check up scheduels and feeding.
I know there is more to owning a horse than this, such as farriers. How often do they need to come and should i shoe the horse?
Thanks to anyone with suggestions.
(looking into a gelded Quarter Horse) what age range should i look into, I am not the most experienced rider ( have ridden alot but not the BEST) Im thinking that over 5 years old, Gelded should be a calm and experienced horse????

May 1st, 2006, 11:03 AM
I see you're in Northern Ontario. I used to live up there too.. PM me and let me know what area you're in, I'll see if I know anyone near you that you can be put in touch with. There is alot to know about owning a horse... the very first thing I'd suggest to you is make sure you have adequate access to an Equine Vet... I can't stress this enough really. It is really important to know you can get ahold of a knowledgable vet if and when something happens that you can't deal with. And trust me, with horses something WILL happen. Not really a matter of if... it's When. lol
I don't mean to scare you.. partnership with your horse is one of life's most wonderful, magical things... I encourage you to GO FOR IT... just be prepared... read books, search the web, and get a friend who has some good experience with horses too....
Good Luck.... I look forward to hearing from you

May 1st, 2006, 11:38 AM
Good for you! Horse ownership is extremely rewarding... but it takes up much of your life (so be ready for that) and requires extreme commitment.
When purchasing, 5 years old is still pretty young... you might want to look at the 8 to 10 range for first time ownership... insist on riding him before you buy, and also watch the existing owner ride him. See if you can spend some time with him tacking up, etc... warning bells if he's all ready to go when you arrive to see him. Can you find a mentor in your area, someone who is knowledgeable that you can call for help? Also, you need to think about feed (hay, pellets, grains, treats etc), and bedding (straw, shavings etc). My horses were kept out in a field with free access to the barn- they use it for shelter from driving wind, rain, and mosquitoes. Do you have fresh water access? (that won't freeze in winter?) Keep grain in a tightly closed container to avoid visitor access (rats, raccoons)
Farrier- I always kept my horses barefoot because they were rarely on pavement. If you are planning to keep them in the field and ride on dirt trails and roads, no need for shoes. Some horses have bad feet and need to be shod, but tougher breeds (arabs, qh) usually have good feet. Hook up with a farrier and have them check out your potential purchase before you buy, because no feet, no horse! Trims are about every 2 months or so (some grow faster than others, and with no shoes, they do wear down some on their own) and cost 20-25$...
As wj said, horses get into a lot of trouble. they are bound to get hurt. Watch for nails, anything sharp, check fences often. Vaccines are very important. When I only had 1 horse, he escaped the fence often, and left for the cow pasture next door! remember they are herd animals and are lonely ...
A gelding is a good choice. They are generally less moody than mares.
Safety is important- with horses, they are very flight oriented, so always leave an escape route visible to them and stay out of it, or you may get trampled.Use a firm confident voice, but never yell.
Worming has to be done ... I think on a biyearly basis (spring/fall)... they get bot fly eggs on their leg hairs, and when they lick them, the eggs hatch and go into their digestive tracts.
And of course, manure pick up. Joy.
Grooming- do yourself a favour and look for burr plants now in your field. Kill them (pull them up by the roots and douse with salt). Otherwise, horses need lots of brushing, but that's fun!
Um... I'm sure there's more but I can't think of any right now. Good luck!

May 1st, 2006, 12:43 PM
Definitely agree on the 8-10 age range. QH are reliable but whatever you look at, have them fully vetted to make sure that you aren't dealing with navicular.

Make sure you know someone in the area that has a truck n trailer in case of emergency. A few summers ago I had a foal that went from healthy jumping around bucking to lying down barely breathing in two hours. It was 11pm. Thank dog I knew three different trailer options as we raced to Guelph. Unfortunately, $5000 later, he didn't make it. One of two cases of an unknown virus in a two week span.

Good quality hay and grain are very important.

A good farrier is worth his weight in gold.

I could go on for a while but ask and you'll find many of us have horse experience. I've got 35 years under my belt. :eek:

May 1st, 2006, 04:31 PM
hey bmd: was this last year?
I had a horse (really healthy 8 year old) die last year from an unknown virus... in less than 24 h. We think it was equine encephalitis... they are on the lookout this year for it in Ontario, and I think there is a vaccine for it (too late for us...)

May 1st, 2006, 04:44 PM
hey bmd: was this last year?
I had a horse (really healthy 8 year old) die last year from an unknown virus... in less than 24 h. We think it was equine encephalitis... they are on the lookout this year for it in Ontario, and I think there is a vaccine for it (too late for us...)
No, 4 summers ago just before my daughter was born. I was devastated and they were never able to find out what the virus was that my foal and the other foal contracted. It was odd as mine was from Niagara region and there's was from North of TO, so they couldn't even think of us both attending the same event or vet crossover or farrier or feed supplier etc.. He was a beautiful warmblood foal named Tanesq which is gaelic for Phantom as his dad was a huge hanoverian grey which he would have been. Nothing sadder than sitting in a stall with the mare as you put the foal to sleep and the mare nudges it to try to encourage it to get up. We allowed her to grieve for 4 hours with the foal before we removed him. We then kept her sedated for 4 days but she came home and still ran nickering through the paddocks and running shed looking for him.

Sorry, didn't mean to thread jack...

May 1st, 2006, 06:35 PM
WOW, thanks so much everyone! My neighbors have 2 horses, I called them today and they will have time tomorrow for a good briefing on horses.
but it takes up much of your life (so be ready for that) and requires extreme commitment.
LOL this is no problem at all, already being owned by 3 dogs and 3 cats plus 9 rabbits I already cant leave for the night with out having house sitters :love: Its worth it!!
I really appreciate all the messages, for the last few weeks we have been clearing the field of debris like old farm equiptment and cement blocks, also we are tearing down the previous barn to put up a larger safer over all more comfortable barn.
As far as fresh water supply, there is a tap in the field beside the old barn that still works. But, as far as the water freezing over, cant i put a heater in it?

Also, when the great day comes that i start my horse shopping, is there anything I should look for as far as condition of the horse and gait and so on???
I have been researching ALOT over the years, and now i have the money saved up to buy one!!!!:D
OH one more thing, we have Barbed wire fencing ( and its coming down!!) what kind of fencing should i get to replace that? I dont know the names of all the different types of fencing, but is it neccessary to have the fence with the rectangular shapes to it ( no one prolly has any clue what im saying here cause i am actually imagining myself demonstating this with my hands LOL)

May 1st, 2006, 07:18 PM
The fencing you are talking about is referred to as page wire.. I never used it... always put up electric fencing instead. Just posts and string lines.. connect lines together with proper wiring, dig wiring down under gates, hook fencer up and voila... fencing that keeps em in and they don't chew or get shod hooves caught in.

As for looking... best to get an experienced horse person to come along with you when you go and see a few horses. Sometimes a second pair of eyes catching something you might have missed.

May 2nd, 2006, 03:39 PM
We have two horses,a pony and a mule.Jack our old guy is twenty something 15.1 canadian cross,Happy our seven year old is a16 hand westphalian,Rio our seven year old is a 13.2welsh cross and Folly is a seven year old mule.Our guys live out all year with a run in.We have wire fence which if properly strung is very safe and you don't have to worry about shorts.We have our farrier out every eight weeks thirty dollars each.Happy is shod front only when my daughter is hunting and eventing with him.We have the vet come out annually we do rabies,tetanus,flu,rhino which is 50 per horse we also do Happy for coggins which is only needed if showing/eventing etc that is an additional thirty.Most horse vets come to you so transporting your horse to a vet is the exception.Our guys have ten acres of pasture,which is done with a timothy clover mix,so they are at grass all summer the usual rule is a minimum of two acres pasture per horse otherwise hay all year.In the winter we feed hay they go through a lrg bale(appro 600lbs per week)thats about forty dollars.Jack is also fed a senior diet so he maintains condition through the winter.Happy also gets extra when he's doing something besides hanging out here.All feeding depends on breed/activity of horse some breeds are easy keepers some hard.Having horses is great but lots of work and does get fairly expensive.Also never keep only one ,they are herd animals and get lonely and stressed.Before you start horse shopping consider a rescue,if you are just looking for a nice quiet horse there are lots who are looking for homes.

May 2nd, 2006, 10:23 PM
Actually I have been keeping an eye out with SPCA's around here but there are rarely any horses! Is there any horse rescues??? I would love to rescue one!

Also never keep only one ,they are herd animals and get lonely and stressed.
I have 160 acres, 60 of which is field, I would idealy like to fence off the first field(approx 20 acres) and keep the remaining 40 for hay. To my point though ( :sorry: ) should i perhaps offer boarding to one more? That way there they have companionship?

May 2nd, 2006, 10:34 PM
There's a lovely sounding warmblood listed in the petfinder classifieds under ontario that I'd love to chat with the owners about.. Except I don't have any acres of country land, lol. :(

May 2nd, 2006, 10:37 PM has some GORGEOUS horses.. Remy is stunning!

some more rescue links:

May 3rd, 2006, 06:28 AM
The OSPCA has a farm rescue if you click on their site click search it will take you to their lrg animal rescue.We got Folly and Rio from Refuge RR,Rose is absolutely incredible and I know she does have some available(if you pass her screening these are her babies!)Honestly it is really not that much more to keep one than two and instead of boarding someone elses horse what about a rescue that is not ridable?lots of horses can still have a great quality of life as campanions to working horses.Rescues usually have both sound ridable horses and companions available.

May 3rd, 2006, 11:07 AM
Thanks Lise, that is a good idea, getting one to ride and one that can just live out the rest of his life in a pasture, being groomed and walked!!! Im going to take this into great consideration, recheck my annual buget ( to make sure) Again thanks for the wonderful idea!!!

May 3rd, 2006, 11:16 AM
it is a great suggestion. they really don't like being alone, but it is more expensive (feed, vets)...
they like goats too...

May 3rd, 2006, 11:28 AM
What about donkeys???

May 3rd, 2006, 01:09 PM
Donkeys are same expenses as a horse.We have Folly our mule,who we call the brains of the group.She came originally with Rio our pony,but her and Happy love eachother(much to Rio 's disgust)Donkeys and mules are great if you have any problems with coyotes or other predators going after your horses.They protect their friends,we had two stray dogs who got into their field,they left very fast thanks to Folly.They are no more stubborn than horses,they just think about things more carefully.Folly is very careful with people she doesn't know,but wonderful with us.She will occasionally try to kick during vetting or having her feet trimmed,but gives lots of warning first.

May 3rd, 2006, 01:31 PM
I am loving this thread, makes me want to buy a truck and head to the hinterland. Keep it going! Pictures, please.

May 3rd, 2006, 03:18 PM
Folly Jack Rio and Happy,the gang!

May 3rd, 2006, 03:30 PM
Happy showing his spots! with Jack's head.Rio and his freind Folly the mule

May 4th, 2006, 07:17 PM
There is also an adoption agency for retired standardbred racers, they are $750 for a horse under 15 and $500 for over, some have been adopted and later returned so have riding experience

The gentle personality of the Standardbred make them an ideal pleasure horse for families or for individuals just starting to ride. The Standardbred horse with training, can be used for:

English & Western Riding
Mounted Police Work
Carriage Driving
Roadster Classes
Western Games
Show Jumping
Pony Clubs
Trail Riding

There is some info about having a goat as a companion for a horse (something to consider as maybe a little less maintenance than having 2 horses

May 4th, 2006, 08:38 PM
my opinion- I've never enjoyed riding standardbreds at all. If you even consider this option you need to know they have to be retrained from racing (especially pacers)... as a companion animal this might be a nice option tho...

May 4th, 2006, 09:39 PM
I'm soooooooooooo envious of anyone who has anything to do with horses.

The Appy (?) in the pics is very pretty. I've always been fond of paints, myself (then again, who isn't? :D ). Although I did fall in love once with a friend's very flashy QH gelding who was being used for endurance competition. *Sigh!* :love:

May 5th, 2006, 01:09 AM
my opinion- I've never enjoyed riding standardbreds at all. If you even consider this option you need to know they have to be retrained from racing (especially pacers)... as a companion animal this might be a nice option tho...
I really want a horse for trail rides through the bush and up to camp once and a while. How tall are standardbreds? I havent really researched that breed. I havent ever ridden one either, I have ridden a lot of QH's and Arabians ( not fond of them though) Im thinking now that a goat or 2 would be a good idea as companions for the horse. I really REALLY want to rescue one now though!! I dont plan on competing with the horse just like i said leisurly rides on weekends and nice evenings.

May 5th, 2006, 07:02 AM
hey erykah,
standardbreds are about 15.2 ish...tall enough. Of course they vary. I just find they have a really uncomfortable gait and tend to have high withers (shoulder bones) ... to me the ones I've ridden feel like you're riding a skinny camel. but hey, just my opinion.
I had arabs (loved them... smart, endurance, great feet, but I would say not for a beginner...)... but I think you're really on the right track with a QH.

Have you looked on petfinder?

May 5th, 2006, 07:22 AM
Standardbreds end up in rescue more than any other breed.More than eighty percent never see their fourth birthday,if they are injured or not fast enough well......The lucky ones go for rescue.They can make great riding horses .As far as high withers ,well you get a saddle that fits. Appy is high so we had a saddle fitted to for him.As far as skinny ,they can be hard keepers,but so are lots of horses.There are two types of standardbred ,pacers and trotters .Pacers move both feet on one side together,so yes it does feel like a camel.Trotters trot like any other horse,just much faster.Both can be reschooled to other gaits.In fact many break gait easily even when racing so they use racing hobbles to keep them on gait.

May 5th, 2006, 09:08 PM
The majority of retiring race horses whether standardbred or thoroughbred will sold at auction to be slaughter for meat sales in france, italy, beguim or japan, so the ones that make it into rescues are indeed lucky, some of the rescues purchases these horse right from the slaughter auctions. Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner met the same fate :(
Many of these horse will find their way to Canadian slaughterhouses

Barton Feeders Company Ltd., Owen Sound, Ontairo (also dba): Georgian Exports Inc., Scarboro Meat Packers Inc.

Bouvry Export Calgary Limited, Fort Macleod, Alberta

Yamatra Import - Export Inc., Yamachiche, Quebec

Viande Richelieu Inc. (also dba): Richelieu Meat Inc., Massueville, Quebec

Article about a racehorse saved from this fate

This link is for the thoroughbred rescue in Ontario, the first horse they have listed under their availables is Academic who is the grandson of Secretariat (http:///waiting_for_a_home.html)

There are also a lot of pmu foals, yearlings and broodmares, and some geldings available It is still early but their will be a large crop of babies coming up for adoption. The majority of the babies will also go to slaughter houses Info about it here, info about the horses starts bout halfway down the page

some of the ranches in Canada offer PMU industry bred horses

Other horse rescues in Ontario some will be abused, neglected or simply no longer wanted

this is in Cameron Ontario

in Cannington, Ontario

May 6th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I'm not an expert at horses. I'll just pass on what my Pop always said about them. He was a farrier. He swore the best horse is a buckskin. He said to make sure all four feet are black because a white foot always has more hoof problems. He never let me use a halter with a bit either because he said I was inexperienced and could easily injure a horses mouth. He favored a hackamore (sp?). I was never allowed to use stirrups. Again, because of inexperience. He said too many riders catch their foot in a stirrup and get dragged. It's more important to learn to use your knees while riding. This is my favorite pix of my Pop. He's been gone almost 6 years.

May 7th, 2006, 06:23 AM
The strength of hoof depends on the individual horse and is not related to color .Jack our canadian has three black one white all are just as strong that breed is known for having great feet.Rio a palamino has all white feet also great feet,Happy has brown feet,but they have tendancy to develop surface cracks and Folly has black feet which our farrier hates since they are like iron and she is not the worlds most cooperative for foot trimming.Hackamore sound wonderful,but used by an inexperienced rider they are more painful than a mild bit.Most people use safety stirrups that prevent you from being dragged if you come off.

May 7th, 2006, 09:16 AM
here's an interesting article about hoof color.

IMO, it is unwise to bet against the wisdom of an established, experienced farrier... and also unkind to post so negatively about someone's pop who has left them. Theories from the past may not be substantiated now, but that doesn't mean we should jump all over them... they often are rooted in truth although we may not understand how.

Lots of kids learn to ride without stirrups. It's not just for safety... it's also to teach them the proper way to stay on instead of relying on the stirrups.
Glasslass, it's a wonderful picture of your Pop and you must have many nice memories.

May 7th, 2006, 11:44 AM
I was not arguing the wisdom of an experienced farrier,since most of our horses have white feet I asked our farrier and our vet if there was any truth to colour and good feet and they both said no.As far as stirrups learning without stirrups is definately a great way of teaching someone balance and improving their seat,but stirrups are not dangerous.I'm sorry if you took my post as negative,it was not to attack someone's late father.

May 8th, 2006, 10:49 AM
I couldn't help entering this discussion. Because I have just purchased a miniture horse here's a picture of our "Sunshine"

May 9th, 2006, 12:17 PM
He is absolutely adorable!

May 9th, 2006, 08:04 PM
Thanks Lise,

Sunshine or Sunny for short is actually a 5 year old bred mare. When she'll foal is anybodys guess. Information on her was sparse. She is a sweetheart for sure though. And on topic I find she's very lonley so I might have to find her a companion.

May 10th, 2006, 10:29 AM
They definately get lonely.How big is he?Our pony Rio is 13.2 and we call him the evil overlorld,since he is our boss horse.The little guys seem to have the most character!

May 12th, 2006, 06:34 PM
I haven't mesured her but Sunny's about 34 to 36 inches tall. She was in the pasture chasing the cows yesterday, then they chased her. I moved her into her own pasture this afternoon to keep her close.